518 Te Atatu Road, Te Atatu Peninsula, 0610
reception@opaldental.co.nz
518 Te Atatu Road, Atatu Peninsula, 0610
reception@opaldental.co.nz
Call 09 834 6359

Autumn is here, which means you are at higher risk of getting an infection. This makes it a good time to learn about oral care for colds and flu.

It’s important to take care of all aspects of your health when you’re sick, including your mouth. In this post, we offer our tips to keep your teeth healthy if you have a cold or flu.

Opal Dental is your local dentist for Te Atatu, and we believe we have a role in keeping our community healthy. Our tips on looking after your teeth and gums when you’re sick are part of this pledge.

Tip #1: Keep hydrated

It’s always a good idea to stay hydrated when you’re unwell. Vomiting, diarrhoea and fever can make you dehydrated. This can impact your oral health if you get a dry mouth, as the lack of saliva will place you at a higher risk of cavities. Some medications, like decongestants, can also dry out your mouth.

Water and other clear fluids like low-sugar cordials are a great way to keep hydrated. Fruits and vegetables have high water content too. Try melons, berries or grapes for a nutritious and hydrating snack.

Tip #2: Don’t skip brushing

Being sick can be tiring. But don’t be tempted to skip your usual dental hygiene routine. Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day is a must for your oral health — and it can also make you feel better.

Remember to use antibacterial mouthwash after brushing. This will reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth.

Flossing once daily is also important. If you’re not sure about the technique, ask your dentist next time you go for a check-up

Tip #3: Take care after vomiting

If you’ve got gastric flu, you may experience vomiting. Your instinct may be to brush your teeth straight away if this happens — but resist the temptation. Vomit contains stomach acid, which you’ll spread onto your teeth if you brush them. This can result in damage to tooth enamel.

Instead of brushing, rinse your mouth out with water or water. You can also use water with 1 teaspoon of baking soda added to neutralise the acid. Wait for 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.

Tip #4: Go sugar-free

Check the ingredient labels of medications such as cough syrups and drops. Many have a high sugar content.

Opt for sugar-free versions instead. You can also try natural remedies like ginger or echinacea tea. Or add a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil to a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam. This will help relieve congestion.

Tip #5: Change your toothbrush

Change your toothbrush or toothbrush head when you’ve recovered from your illness. This will help reduce the risk of re-infection from bacteria.

In any case, it’s good practice to change your toothbrush every three months. Do this sooner if the bristles are damaged or worn.

Get fit for winter 

Don’t neglect your oral health this autumn and winter. Follow our tips to help keep your teeth, gums and mouth in good condition, even if you get sick.

Why not book an appointment with us before the cold weather sets in? Knowing that your teeth and gums are healthy will give you peace of mind as we head into cold and flu season.

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